Category Archives: How To

Simple how-to instructions for weaving, spinning, dyeing and other textiles.

Beginner Weaving – Reed: aa092599

A reed is usually made of metal and sits in the beater. It looks much like a comb with small teeth.It’s purpose is to keep the warp threads spread across the web, at an even distance, and is used to beat the weft threads into place while weaving.

bamboo weaving reed

Reeds come in several standard sizes such as 6, 8, 10 or 12 epi. Metric size reeds are also popular. This table gives some of the more common Inch and Metric size reeds.

Dents per Inch Dents per Centimetre
4 1.5
5 2
6 2.5
8 3
10 4
12 5
15 6
18 7
20 8

Once you have decided on the sett of your project, you will need to choose an appropriate reed. Choose the reed that best distributes your yarn to the appropriate sett.

For example, if your sett is 8 epi then use an 8 dent reed, threading one end into each dent. If your sett is 20 epi, choose a 10 dent reed, threading 2 ends into each dent. If you do not have a selection of reeds to choose from, try to space your yarn evenly in the reed that you have, by doubling up ends into the same dent if necessary.

reed

Step 1. Choose your project and yarns.

Step 2. Determine the sett of your cloth, or how many threads per inch the fabric will be.
Step 3. Choose the correct Reed

Step 4. Calculate the Yarn requirements.

Step 5. Wind the Warp using a warping board or warping mill.

Step 6. Remove the warp chains and place them on the loom.

Step 7. Sley the Reed.

Step 8. Thread the heddles, following the draft plan.

Step 9. Wind the warp onto the back beam

Step 10. Tie the warp ends to the front beam.

Congratulations! Now you a ready to Weave!

[sc name=”medianet300x250″]

Vintage Grant Hand Weaving Supply Company Tabletop Loom; 60's to 70's

$135.00
End Date: Thursday Mar-5-2020 17:30:16 PST
Buy It Now for only: $135.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Floor Weaving Loom

$250.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Monday Feb-17-2020 6:07:54 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

[sc name=”Amazon-Bottom”]

Beginner Weaving – Sett: aa092499

Once you have chosen your yarns, you will also need to determine the sett of your cloth, or how many threads per inch the fabric will be. If your pattern does not give you this information, or you are using an alternate yarn or are creating your own design, wrap the yarn around a ruler, so that each wrap of the yarn is just touching. Wrap the yarn over a space of 1 inch. Then count the number of wraps. This will give you an approximate sett.

yarn sett

In this example, this hemp yarn is best sett at 20 ends per inch (epi).

The sett may be adjusted up or down depending on the type of cloth that you are making, the yarn, the pattern structure and the desired drape of the fabric. The table below shows some suggested setts for Cottons and Linen yarns.

COTTON (840) YPP Tabby – Loose – EPI Tabby – Firm – EPI Twill – EPI
8/2 3360 ypp 20 24 28
8/4 1680 ypp 14 16 18
10/2 4200 ypp 24 27 30
10/3 2800 ypp 20 22.5 24
16/2 6720 ypp 28 30 32
20/2 8400 ypp 30 32 36
20/3 5600 ypp 22 24 28
20/6 2800 ypp 20 22.5 24
24/2 10080 ypp 30 36 40
24/3 6720 ypp 28 30 32
30/3 8400 ypp 30 32 36
LINEN (300) YPP Tabby – Loose – EPI Tabby – Firm – EPI Twill – EPI
7/1 2100 ypp 20 22.5 25
10/1 3000 ypp 24 27 30
12/1 3600 ypp 25 28 32
12/2 1800 ypp 20 22 24
14/2 2100 ypp 20 22.5 25
18/2 2700 ypp 22.5 24 27
20/2 3000 ypp 24 26 30
30/2 4500 ypp 28 30 32
40/2 6000 ypp 32 36 45
50/3 5000 ypp 35 37.5 45

Step 1. Choose your project and yarns.

Step 2. Determine the sett of your cloth, or how many threads per inch the fabric will be.

Step 3. Choose the correct Reed

Step 4. Calculate the Yarn requirements.

Step 5. Wind the Warp using a warping board or warping mill.

Step 6. Remove the warp chains and place them on the loom.

Step 7. Sley the Reed.

Step 8. Thread the heddles, following the draft plan.

Step 9. Wind the warp onto the back beam

Step 10. Tie the warp ends to the front beam.

Congratulations! Now you a ready to Weave!

Weaving Books: Beginner Weaving

[sc name=”medianet300x250″]

Vintage Grant Hand Weaving Supply Company Tabletop Loom; 60's to 70's

$135.00
End Date: Thursday Mar-5-2020 17:30:16 PST
Buy It Now for only: $135.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Floor Weaving Loom

$250.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Monday Feb-17-2020 6:07:54 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

[sc name=”Amazon-Bottom”]

Beginner Weaving – How to Warp: aa031600

There are lots of different ways to warp a loom. If you use another method, that’s great! The objective is to find a method that is most comfortable and easy to use for you. I will describe a method that I use when warping from Front-to-Back.

weaving loom

Step 1 – Choose Your Project and Yarns

First, you will need to determine how wide and long you want your project to be and what type of yarn you will be using. For beginners, it is advisable to choose a pre-determined pattern so that some of the calculations will be done for you already. Some weaving patterns and projects are listed on our site. There are also many handweaving books and magazines on the market. Handwoven is a great source for ideas. Check with your local library, take a class through a local weaving guild or the many hand picked books we suggest via Amazon. And of course, if you have questions, stop by our Facebook Page where we will all be happy to help you get started.

Step 2. Determine the sett of your cloth, or how many threads per inch the fabric will be.

Step 3. Choose the correct Reed

Step 4. Calculate the Yarn requirements.

Step 5. Wind the Warp using a warping board or warping mill.

Step 6. Remove the warp chains and place them on the loom.

Step 7. Sley the Reed.

Step 8. Thread the heddles, following the draft plan.

Step 9. Wind the warp onto the back beam

Step 10. Tie the warp ends to the front beam.

Congratulations! Now you a ready to Weave!

[sc name=”medianet300x250″]

Vintage Grant Hand Weaving Supply Company Tabletop Loom; 60's to 70's

$135.00
End Date: Thursday Mar-5-2020 17:30:16 PST
Buy It Now for only: $135.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Floor Weaving Loom

$250.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Monday Feb-17-2020 6:07:54 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

[sc name=”Amazon-Bottom”]

Double Width Weaving: aa041399

It is possible to weave a project twice the width of your loom by using a double weave technique. Half of the shafts of your loom weave the top layer of the warp and the other shafts weave the bottom layer, creating a folded edge on one side of the warp. I have used this technique to weave large queen size blankets.

double width weaving

When you are calculating the number of ends, remember that you are making a project that is double the width that is on your loom, so you will need to double the number of ends. For example, in this handspun blanket that I made, I used a sett of 5 e.p.i. The loom width was 54″. I needed 540 ends (54″ x 5) = 270 x 2 = 540. I threaded the loom at 10 e.p.i. as only half of the ends were used for each layer.

In this threading, the open side of the fabric is on the left, and the folded side is on the right. In double wide projects, there is quite a bit of draw-in on the folded side, so to compensate, I change the sett of the last inch of threads to 5 e.p.i.
You can weave a project twice the width of your loom by using a double weave technique. Half of the shafts of your loom weave the top layer of the warp and the other shafts weave the bottom layer, creating a folded edge on one side of the warp. I have used this technique to weave large queen size blankets.

double wide draft

Although I used the same color of yarn for both layers, in this draft I have denoted the bottom and top layers with light and dark colors.

To begin weaving, I throw the shuttle from the left, on the bottom layer, creating the open side of the cloth.
The shuttle is then thrown from the right, on the top layer, creating a fold.

The shuttle is thrown from the left, on the top layer, back to the fold

and then from the right, on the bottom layer, back to the open side of the fabric. The warp must be tightly and evenly wound onto the back beam to avoid any loose warp threads. Tension problems in the warp will cause skips in the bottom layer.

It takes a bit of skill and faith that it will work, as you are weaving the bottom layer unseen, but the technique isn’t that difficult, even for a beginner weaver. I find this double weave technique to be quite useful as it expands the capabilities of even a small loom, allowing you to make much larger projects.

Draft for 8 Shaft Double Wide Twill

8 shaft double wide draft

Weaving Drafts
Twill Tapestry
Summer Winter Draft
Log Cabin Draft
Finn Weave Draft

Handweaving Books

Doubleweave: On Four to Eight Shafts

Double Weave: Theory and Practice

Magic of Doubleweave: The Best of Weaver’s (Best of Weaver’s series)

[sc name=”medianet300x250″]

Vintage Grant Hand Weaving Supply Company Tabletop Loom; 60's to 70's

$135.00
End Date: Thursday Mar-5-2020 17:30:16 PST
Buy It Now for only: $135.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Floor Weaving Loom

$250.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Monday Feb-17-2020 6:07:54 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

[sc name=”Amazon-Bottom”]

Handweaving – Fulled Cloth : aa022698

Yardage must go through a process called fulling, that opens the fibers and changes the interwoven threads into fabric. Different fulling techniques are used for different fibers. I will describe the process that I use for fulling pure wool yardage or blankets. After all skips, broken threads or other mistakes have been corrected, the yardage can be fulled. Be brave, but please also be very careful as your lovely blanket can quickly turn into a piece of felt, perhaps good for felted slippers but not the fluffy blanket you had hoped for.

In order to full my newly woven blankets, I fill my washing machine with hot water and add some laundry detergent. I then place the blanket into the washer. I turn the washing machine on, and stand by it watching the blanket agitate. Time this process and check the blanket every 30 seconds. Turn the washer off and pull out part of the blanket to check on the amount of fulling that has occurred. Turn the washer back on and let agitate another 30 seconds and again check. This fulling process usually takes about 2 – 3 minutes.

The spinning oils and lanolin are removed with washing. The heat and agitation begin the felting process in the wool, opening up the individual fibers and interlocking them together. When the individual threads no longer move separately, but begin to join together, and the yardage starts to look more like fabric or a blanket (as it should), then stop the washer. If you are not sure if it has agitated enough, it is better to stop than continue, as you can always full the yardage further if need be, however, it is not possible to go back.

Drain the water out of the washer – without turning on the spin cycle. Refill the washer with cool water to rinse out the fabric but without agitation or spin cycle. Drain the water from the washer, and then turn on the spin cycle for about 30 – 60 seconds to remove the remaining water from the blanket.

Hang the finished blanket to dry. Enjoy!

The Village Mill

Laura Fry specializes in wet finishing and offers workshops about weave structures, warp and weft effects, and how shrinkage and take up differences affect the finished cloth.

How to Wash a Wool Blanket
Are you wondering how to wash and care for your newly woven wool blanket? Here’s how.

How to Make a Twisted Fringe

How to Sew Handwoven Fabric

How to Use a McMorran Balance

Handweaving Books

The Weaver’s Book: Fundamentals of Handweaving
UK: Fundamentals of Handweaving

Key to Weaving: A Textbook of Hand-Weaving Techniques and Pattern Drafts for the Beginning Weaver
A definitive guide to handloom weaving: step-by-step instructions, intricacies of color, fiber and how to use them effectively.
UK: Key to Weaving

Favorite Scandinavian Projects to Weave: 45 Stylish Designs for the Modern Home
A collection of 45 different furnishing textiles: colorful blankets, fanciful table runners, classic curtains, and embroidered hand towels.
UK: Favorite Scandinavian Projects to Weave

Weaving Made Easy: 17 Projects Using a Simple Loom
The small, portable rigid heddle loom can be used to easily produce loose, drape-friendly fabric as well as dense, sturdy material.
UK: Weaving Made Easy

[sc name=”medianet300x250″]

Vintage Grant Hand Weaving Supply Company Tabletop Loom; 60's to 70's

$135.00
End Date: Thursday Mar-5-2020 17:30:16 PST
Buy It Now for only: $135.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Floor Weaving Loom

$250.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Monday Feb-17-2020 6:07:54 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

[sc name=”Amazon-Bottom”]

Beginner Natural Dyeing: aa010498

Whenever you use dyes, there is always a health risk involved. Some dyes and mordants are poisonous, so use them with caution.

  • Never use the same pots and utensils for dyeing that you use for cooking.
  • Wear rubber gloves and use a face mask when measuring mordants and dyes.
  • Work in a well ventilated area, preferably not your kitchen.
  • Dispose of used mordants and dyebaths safely.

In the summer months, I do my dyeing outside. During the winter, I have a table set up in the laundry room. The occasional sock gets dyed an unusual colour sometimes, but that is better, I think, than making my family ill. Using natural dyes is not difficult, but takes some preparation. Any fiber that you dye must be clean, or you will be dyeing the wool grease and not the fiber. So scour it well, in hot, soapy water. And rinse out the yarn. With most natural dyes, it requires a 2 step process. The mordanting of the yarn and then the application of the dye. Many of the natural dyes also need some time to soak (overnight). I usually do this over a 2 day period. I mordant the yarns on the first day, prepare the dye solutions and then dye on the second day.

Natural dyes usually require the fiber to be soaked in a pre-mordant bath. The mordant prepares the fiber to receive the dyestuff, deepening, or changing the colour and making it more colourfast. I used about 1 lb. of yarn, winding off sample skeins, each approx. 10 yards in length. The day before I planned to dye, I pre-mordanted the yarn samples.

For this project, I am using 2 different mordants, to see what range of colours I will get.

Alum/Tartaric Acid Mordant

  • Use 10% Alum to weight of fiber
  • Use 5% Tartaric Acid to weight of fiber

Weigh fiber and weigh out required mordants. Add mordants to a dyepot filled with hot water. Dissolve and add clean, wet yarn samples. Simmer for about an hour at 90 degrees Celsius. Remove the yarn and rinse well.
Tin Mordant

  • Use .5% to weight of fiber

Weigh your fiber and the required amount of mordant. Dissolve the tin mordant in the hot dyebath of water. Add clean, wet yarn samples. Simmer for 1 hour. Remove the yarn and rinse well.
To save time, you can make larger baths of mordants and pre-mordant larger amounts of yarn, labelling them appropriately, so that they are ready when you want to do some dyeing.

More…
Dyeing with Brazilwood and Osage Orange

[sc name=”medianet300x250″]

Vintage Grant Hand Weaving Supply Company Tabletop Loom; 60's to 70's

$135.00
End Date: Thursday Mar-5-2020 17:30:16 PST
Buy It Now for only: $135.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Floor Weaving Loom

$250.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Monday Feb-17-2020 6:07:54 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

[sc name=”Amazon-Bottom”]

Dyes – Kool-aid Colors : aa082097

Have your kids made Kool-aid and have you noticed that their mouth or hands turn an interesting shade of color? Well, Kool-aid can be used for more than just a summertime drink. Kool-Aid can be used to dye any animal fiber such as pure wool, dog hair, angora rabbit or mohair. It is relatively safe (as we drink it), easy to use and can be purchased at any grocery store.

koolaid

Dye Safety

Dyeing with Kool-Aid can be done in your kitchen, though this is not recommended. If you are using commercial dyes, do try to set up a separate dye space. Dyes are not safe to use around food preparation areas. During the summer, I do my dye projects outside. I use a 2 burner electric hotplate.

Do not use pots or cooking utensils that will be used in your kitchen. For small dye projects, I have purchased a set of stainless steel mixing bowls, though any small pots will do.

For this project, I wanted to see what types of colors would result using Kool-Aid (the unsweetened kind). Using about 2 ounces of 2 ply natural white wool, I wound off about 15 sample hanks. To wind a hank, holding the yarn in the palm of your hand, wrap it around your elbow and back up. Wrap it around approximately 10 times and tie the bundle off.

Before dyeing, the yarn must be clean and free of wool grease or other contaminants. Soak the samples in warm water with a bit of soap added. I use Dawn dishwashing liquid as I find that it does a fine job of cleaning wool. Rinse the wool thoroughly to remove any soap residue.


I used one package each of Lemonade (yellow), Kiwi-Lime (lime green), Pink Swimmingo (pink), and Grape (purple). Kool-Aid dyes can be set by using heat and acid. I put about 2 cups of warm water into each of 4 stainless steel mixing bowls and added about a teaspoon of vinegar along with the Kool-Aid. I heated the water to almost boiling.

I put one sample skein into each of the 4 pots and let them simmer. When a pot started to get too hot, I would remove it from the heat and put one of the other pots onto the burner. It took a few minutes for the yarn to begin to absorb the dye. Yarn colour is not influenced by the amount of water in a pot but by the amount of dye substance. The dye in the Lemonade pot was exhausted with just one sample skein. All that was left was clear water. So I continued on with the other 3 pots of dye.


I removed the first set of skeins from the pots and then placed all of the remaining skeins into the dye pots and let them simmer. After a few minutes I removed 2 skeins from each pot, squeezed out the excess water and placed them into the other 2 pots of dye. That is, I took 2 skeins from the Lemon-Lime pot and put them into the Grape and Pink Swimmingo. Similarly, I took 2 from the other pots and moved them as well. A few minutes later, I moved the samples from pot to pot again. Soon, the pink dye bath was exhausted, so I left the remaining samples in the Grape pot to simmer.

For this type of dye to be heat set, the yarn needs to be heated for about 20 minutes. I placed the samples into a steamer on top of the dye pot and let them steam. Then I rinsed the samples in soapy water and let dry.
Although Kool-aid dyes don’t give as strong colours as commercial dyes, the colours were still quite lovely and the faint odour of Kool-Aid still remains.

Koolaid Mittens
Linda found that Kool-aid dyes can be bright and colourful as she spun the wool on a drop spindle and Navajo-plied the yarn to keep the colours pure.

Dyes and Colour

Crock Pot Dyeing

[sc name=”medianet300x250″]

Vintage Grant Hand Weaving Supply Company Tabletop Loom; 60's to 70's

$135.00
End Date: Thursday Mar-5-2020 17:30:16 PST
Buy It Now for only: $135.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Floor Weaving Loom

$250.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Monday Feb-17-2020 6:07:54 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

[sc name=”Amazon-Bottom”]

Loom Care : aa052897

Proper maintenance and cleaning of your loom, will keep it in good running order. If your loom came with cleaning and maintenance instructions, follow them. If you purchased a used loom, without instructions, the following list should help you extend the life of your loom.

double beam countermarche loom

**The following tips have been revised with suggestions from Bill Koepp (Weaving since 1975, woodworking since 1952)

1. Metal parts of the loom should be cleaned with a cloth and oiled using sewing machine oil. Use silicone spray on nylon or plastic parts.
** The use of Pam is not recommended as it contains Canola Oil, Alcohol and
Lecithin. This adds up to a sticky residue sooner or later

2. Rust can be cleaned from reeds with powdered pumice. Using a stiff brush and pumice, scrub the reed to strip the rust off. Then oil the reeds well.

** Pumice should be kept well away from brakes and bearings, it is
an abrasive and not to be breathed in.

3. Tighten all bolts and screws securely. If bolts are loose, this can cause permanent damage to the loom, with the excessive beating that a loom has to withstand. The wood can be crushed, screws stripped and bolt holes enlarged.

4. In warm or changing climates, it is especially important to clean and wax or oil hardwood regularly to prevent drying and cracking of wood. Varnished surfaces can be dusted and cleaned with lemon oil.

For stained or unvarnished wood, use boiled linseed oil or lemon oil. Rub it on with a soft cloth and let dry.
** Linseed Oil – Boiled or raw, one should be an expert to use it, you can
end up with a sticky mess, depending upon the temperature, humidity and the
old finish underneath.

Lemon oil has a more pleasant odour.

** Lemon Oil – Lemon Oil
is Mineral oil with 1 percent of synthetic lemon scent, you’re paying more
for the same oil and mineral oil is almost odorless anyways ( it used to be
called paraffin oil years ago ), smell a baby !
Bill Koepp recommends: Johnson’s paste wax.

5. If using loom tie cords (not texsolv) coating them with beeswax can protect them from drying out.

[sc name=”medianet300x250″]

Ashford Spinning Wheel

$300.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Feb-20-2020 18:30:40 PST
Buy It Now for only: $500.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

Rare Vintage Made In Holland Louet S10 Wooden Spinning Wheel Clothing Spool

$299.99
End Date: Saturday Feb-22-2020 7:28:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $299.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Louet Spinning Wheel S 50/51 Plus Stool And Skein Winder

$334.95
End Date: Thursday Feb-20-2020 10:33:47 PST
Buy It Now for only: $334.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

[sc name=”Amazon-Bottom”]